Fears of more violence in Lesotho after killing of ex-army boss

2015-06-29 17:07

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Cape Town – Lesotho is likely to plunge into renewed political violence following the killing of its former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao by soldiers last week, according to media reports.

Mahao was allegedly shot dead by soldiers in his village home on the outskirts of Maseru.

The army commander, Tlali Kamoli, who mounted a brief coup against the then-president Tom Thabane last August, appeared to have launched a campaign to get rid of his (Thabane) loyalists, the reports said.

Thabane fired Kamoli as Lesotho Defence Force commander following the failed coup.


But following his victory in the tightly contested elections in February, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili reinstated Kamoli.

Mahao was, however, challenging his dismissal in the High Court, according to a New Zimbabwe.com report.

Several soldiers have been arrested and assaulted for allegedly conniving with Mahao and former police commissioner Khothatso Tsooana – another Thabane loyalist – to overthrow the government of Mosisili.

Recent media reports also claimed Thabane had fled the country, claiming he had been tipped off about a plot to kill him.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Monday that the US had expressed its concern over the developments in Lesotho, saying the incident risked sparking instability in the southern African country.

"This latest - and most tragic - example of abuses within the Lesotho defence force highlights the urgent need for security sector reform," John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson, was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    pakalitha mosisili  |  tom thabane  |  lesotho  |  southern africa

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